Having a child is one of life’s greatest gifts, and the journey to conception isn’t an easy one. For those who are starting out in the grand stage of pregnancy, ovulation is something to look out for as it is that time of the month when the chance to conceive is high.
But for those who have problems ovulating, whether due to other medical problems or an inborn condition, medications are needed to encourage ovulation. Clomid is one of the fertility drugs used for this purpose. Though effective, Clomid is not free from the dangers of side-effects, including the chance of developing tumors and risky multiple births.
As pregnancy is a natural process, Mother Nature herself has given birth to natural alternatives that may be used to safely induce ovulation. Aside from that, these alternatives also benefit the body in many different ways. Be sure to ask a medical professional first before taking an alternative to Clomid:
Do not substitute this for actual advice from an expert as many cases require treatment that CAN NOT be remedied with natural options. These natural options may only be helpful in addition to treatments, again consult with a medical professional before self treating or self diagnosing.
1.) Eat right
Proper weight levels are always linked with many health factors. As for fertility, being overweight / underweight reduces the instances of female ovulation as it affects how the body produces hormones. Take note of these tips:
a.) Avoid processed, sugary, and fatty foods. Not only do they lack any nutritional value, they are also potential triggers for serious health conditions that may arise in the future. This does not bode well if you’re trying to increase your chances of pregnancy. The acidic nature of some processed food may also negatively affect your cervical mucus, making it kill passing sperm instead of helping it swim to the uterus.
b.) Choose vegetable protein sources instead of meat sources. A study published in 2008 at the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology revealed that protein derived from animals increased the risk of ovulatory infertility, while vegetables diminished the said risk. Beans, kale, mushrooms, peas, spinach, and zucchini are some excellent sources of vegetable protein.
c.) The word “fat” does not automatically equate to harmful things. Major hormones are composed of cholesterol, and a lack of the latter will hamper hormone production which results in lower quality ovulation. Eggs, fish oils, and avocados contribute a safe amount of dietary fat that won’t compromise your health.
d.) Eight glasses of water a day is an old adage that should be followed if you wish to maintain optimum health. Water is very important in ensuring that bodily functions are in top condition, and the same holds true for ovulation. Dehydration hampers creation of cervical mucus, not to mention making quality of circulation poor, and these are critical factors to consider when you want to conceive. Same for men, dehydration leads to bad sperm quality and count, making conception even more difficult. Always drink water and stay clear of carbonated and sugary drinks, they will do you more harm than good.
2.) Take herbs
Many herbs have been used throughout the history of mankind for their wide array of benefits, both in meals and as medicines. There are certain herbs that can help your ovulation:
a.) Alfalfa: Alfalfa not only eliminates unsafe toxins from the body, it also alkalizes. What does that mean? It means the cervical mucus becomes more welcoming to both the sperm and estrogen, making the trek to the uterus and hormone production a lot smoother. Alfalfa can be brewed into tea, made into tincture, or added to meals and other healthy drinks.
b.) Dandelion: This herb has trace amounts of vitamins A, C, and a few other minerals. Only a mild diuretic, dandelion also benefits the secretion of mucous membrane and the liver for better hormone production and toxin removal. Tea can be made from the leaves and from its roasted roots.
c.) Evening Primrose: Primarily available in capsule form as supplements. Evening primrose oil is packed with a rich amount of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), a highly beneficial fatty acid and what gives the herb its powerful healing abilities. The acid helps regulate hormones that are essential for a myriad of body functions, including ovulation. It also benefits women for their other conditions like breast and head pains during premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and menstruation. This is best taken prior to your ovulation as it may cause complications when taken during your luteal phase.
d.) Flaxseed: Full of essential fatty acids for hormonal balance, plus with anti-inflammatory properties and phytoestrogens that protect the body from the disease-causing effects of xenoestrogens. The best way to make use of flaxseed is to grind it and take two tablespoons every day, whether sprinkled over salad or added into a smoothie.
e.) Maca: The Peruvian root does not have any hormones, but it does have 31 minerals and 60 phytonutrients that greatly benefit the endocrine system, or the glands that control hormone production. Maca balances existing hormones instead of adding new ones, and renders other benefits such as improved energy levels, sexual function, and elevated moods. Some women reported having an early ovulation after regular consumption of maca. It is available in powder, tablet, and tincture forms.
f.) Stinging Nettle: Another herb that benefits the hormones by giving the kidneys and the adrenal glands their needed nutrition to function well. The herb has vitamins A, C, D, and K, and minerals calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and sulfur. Its chlorophyll content regulates both your cycle and hormones, and strengthens your uterus as well. The leaves can be easily boiled into tea, added in soup, or even eaten as is when cooked.
g.) Red Raspberry Leaf: One of the most famous herbs in existence, and it is also well known for women who are preparing for childbirth, and those who are having trouble with conceiving. Not only it fortifies the uterus, specifically the uterine lining, it also makes the luteal phase longer for better chances of conception. The boons bestowed by red raspberry leaf upon women is attributed to its rich content of vitamins and minerals. Fresh and dried leaves are available for brewing into tea, either hot or cold, and there are supplements of red raspberry in health stores.
h.) Red Clover: This herb is famous for its ability to purify blood and improve circulation. This helps in ovulation as having good circulation in the reproductive organs aid in its better functionality. Red clover also augments the liver, improving hormone balance and production, and also increases appetite. If you are having difficulty ovulating due to a lack of weight, perhaps a glass of red clover tea may be the answer to your problem. Herbalists used tonics made of this herb to help women with different kinds of problems like clogged fallopian tubes, sudden infertility, and irregular periods. Red clover, in conjunction with red raspberry leaf and peppermint, can be made into a nourishing tonic that can be drank every day for better ovulation.
i.) Shatavari: Mentioned in the ancient Indian healing system Ayurveda, the translation of this herb’s name is “she who has one hundred husbands” due to its powerful fertility benefits. Despite the translation, the herb also works for males with worries in fertility. Shatavari works by protecting the body from infertility induced by stress, improving cervical mucus, supporting the liver and regular menstruation, and rinses the blood free from toxins that can affect the reproductive organs. Shatavari is widely sold as supplements in capsule form, and some health stores also sell it in powder form that can be stirred in other beverages.
3.) Get more vitamins
Vitamins and minerals are always important if you wish to stay healthy and free from any medical problems. For ovulation, there are certain vitamins and minerals that can make things easier for you:
a.) Vitamin C: Vitamin C improves male sperm health and protects it from damage wrought by DNA that may lead to complications in pregnancy. For women, it regulates proper function of the ovaries and menstrual cycle. Ascorbic acid also repairs ovaries after ovulation and minimizes risk of cyst development. Most common sources of this vitamin are citrus fruits, and the brighter the peel the richer the content. Other fruit sources are kiwi, papaya, pineapple, and strawberry.
b.) Vitamin D: A deficiency in vitamin D leads to problems in ovulating, as it is important in the creation of follicles, or sacs that hold ocytes. It also helps the body absorb calcium, another important mineral in the development of follicles and the maturation of eggs. Sources of vitamin D include eggs, beef liver, cheese, fish, milk, and of course sunlight in the early morning hours.
c.) Folic Acid: Maintains health of egg cells to increase the chance of pregnancy without the risk of birth defects on infants. Whole grains and leafy greens are excellent sources of folic acid.
d.) Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 is legendary for promoting proper cardiovascular health and protecting the body from the ravages of toxins. And when we say cardiovascular health, that also includes the blood flow in your reproductive organs, leading to stable production of healthy cervical mucus and minimizes the chance of miscarriage. Excellent sources are mussels, salmon, sardines, tuna, and trout. Non-seafood sources are black walnut, hickory, pecan, pistachio, flaxseed, and sesame seeds.
4.) Exercise, but not too much: Ovulation may be one of the few reasons where light exercise is good enough. It all depends on your weight, as body mass index (BMI) plays a huge role in your fertility. If your weight is on a normal level, a short jog is okay and steer clear from rigorous training exercises and joining physical competitions as they may stress you out physically and affect your fertility. If you’re underweight or overweight, try to seek the advice of a fitness expert who can cook up a training regimen for you.
5.) Free yourself from internal and external stress: Overworking, over thinking, arguments, financial problems. These are but a few triggers for internal stress, and they secretly damage your body even if you think that they’re just mental. Stress can also come from external factors such as environmental pollution, second hand smoke, vehicle emissions, and even noisy places. These stressors inevitably lead to serious health problems when left unchecked. Stay away from stress as much as possible if you are aiming for ovulation and conception. Meditate, pray, relax, listen to music, take a warm chamomile bath, read a book, don’t take home your workload, etc. Find an activity that calms you both inside and out, and your body will be grateful for it.
6.) Kick bad vices: Binge drinking, chain smoking, and even both at the same time are not good for women who wish to have a smooth ovulation. Get rid of these vices as they will never work in favor of your body, and there is a high risk of your future baby having birth defects due to alcohol and cigarette abuse.